Monday, September 14, 2015

A long overdue note of thanks

It has been way too long since I stopped and thanked folks to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, today I would like to start to remedy that. I have been incredibly fortunate to have had a series of great jobs with outstanding employers over the past several years, without the support of my employers I would not have achieved what I have, and I couldn’t have contributed near as much to the many communities and causes I’ve been able to support over the years.

Almost eight years ago I joined Astaro, a German UTM company. I started in the support team, but ended up in the role of Community Development Manager or something like that. Astaro was where I really started expanding my engagement with the hacker and security communities beyond my home turf of Boston and Providence; at first they tolerated it, then they encouraged it, and eventually encouraged it and supported many community events. (BSides Trivia: Astaro was the first company to put up sponsorship money for Security BSides).

The team at Astaro was great, and I think that was a reflection on the founders, three college friends, very smart, but different people. Jan Hichert, Markus Hennig, and Gert Hansen built a strong team, and a great company. Sophos agreed, and acquired Astaro in 2011. Jan, Markus, and Gert have a new company now, Ocedo, and it looks like they’re putting together another solid company. I owe Jan, Markus, Gert, and the entire Astaro team thanks for all of their support and encouragement- and I wish them the best of fortunes in their latest and future ventures.

In 2011 as Astaro was being acquired by Sophos I had a conversation with Ron Gula about joining Tenable Network Security. I had chatted with Ron and also with Jack Huffard about joining Tenable in the past, but this time it seemed like it was time for me to make the next step in my career. Tenable was founded by three very smart, but very different people, Ron Gula, Jack Huffard, and Renaud Deraison (I see a pattern here). I have evolved through a variety of roles at Tenable, all the time getting the support that has enabled me to continue to engage with various communities and projects that I have supported through the years. At Tenable I’ve had the amazing fortune to work not only with the founders, but also with people like Marcus Ranum, Cris Thomas (better known as Space Rogue to most folks), Carlos Perez, Paul Asadoorian, and many others. As with Astaro, I owe Ron, Jack, Renaud and the team they’ve built at Tenable many thanks for opportunities I’ve been given and the support I’ve received.

So when I’m whining on Twitter or wherever, remember that I have been fortunate enough to work for and with some brilliant people, and not just brilliant, but genuinely good people.

Can you imagine how much of a bitter old man I’d be if it weren’t for having awesome jobs?